Gisborne appears to have become the perfect venue for promoting rural New Zealand rugby to live television audiences. In a repeat of the 2004 third division final when 51 points were scored in an entertaining game played in perfect conditions, the 2006 Lochore Cup final proved to be the most entertaining match played over finals weekend. In a scenic setting, a sunny, warm day, two teams provided television audiences with attractive rugby in which 80 points were scored. Poverty Bay and King Country showcased the best of rural New Zealand rugby and though the home team were comfortable winners – King Country executed some fine tries late in the game – it was a fine exhibition of Heartland rugby.
Winning the Lochore Cup had not been the team’s aim at the start of the season, it was a semifinal berth for the Meads Cup. But with three losses during the Heartland round-robin Poverty Bay was consigned to the lower competition and they produced their best effort in the final.There were inconsistent performances with comeback efforts against Thames Valley and King Country to take victory and a last second victory would have been gained at Levin had Leighton’s sideline conversion been successful. A handy lead against Wanganui was squandered but from every game the team learned a lesson and everything went to plan during the finals. While the team had scored many fine tries during the campaign, suspect defence had allowed opponents to score too often.
Scott Leighton led the team and directed the backline admirably, he also being a fine goal-kicker and in the final showed his ability to seize a gap and score. Halfback Daniel Morath had a good first season and the experienced Ian Logan was sound outside Leighton. Wade Owen was the regular centre with Hone Kaa and Shane Leach scoring 13 tries between them on the wings. Fullback Kahu Tamatea was enterprising and earned selection in the Heartland XV.
Tom Solomon made some strong runs from number eight with flankers Malakai Ravulo, Dee Hawkins and Sione Ngatu all lively players. Willie Halgarth was outstanding at lock. Colin Hovell was the only frontrow member to start every game and enjoyed his best season, other props used being Chris Haenga and Jamie Hutana, the latter having played previously at lock. Lloyd Gabriel, Ben Marshall, and later Sefton Alexander shared the hooker position.
Higher honours went to:
New Zealand Heartland XV: Hallgarth, Leach, Leighton, Morath, Solomon,Tamatea.
|21 Oct, 2:30 pm||H||King Country||Final Lochore Cup||46 - 34|
|14 Oct, 2:30 pm||H||Buller||S/F Lochore Cup||36 - 10|
|07 Oct, 2:30 pm||H||West Coast||Lochore Cup||57 - 17|
|30 Sep, 2:30 pm||A||Buller||Lochore Cup||22 - 30|
|23 Sep, 2:30 pm||H||East Coast||Lochore Cup||33 - 15|
|16 Sep, 2:30 pm||H||Wanganui||Heartland Championship||30 - 41|
|09 Sep, 2:30 pm||A||Horowhenua-Kapiti||Heartland Championship||32 - 31|
|02 Sep, 2:30 pm||H||King Country||Heartland Championship||19 - 18|
|26 Aug, 2:30 pm||A||Thames Valley||Heartland Championship||19 - 21|
|19 Aug, 2:30 pm||H||South Canterbury||Heartland Championship||22 - 30|
|05 Jun, 2:30 pm||A||East Coast||Pre-Season||10 - 24|
|Tim Gardner||Utility Back||n/a||n/a||5|
|Colin J.K. Hovell||Prop||n/a||n/a||11|
|Scott Leighton||First Five||n/a||n/a||9|
|Sione Ngatu||Flanker/No.8, Prop||186||115||9|
|Kahu Tamatea||First Five/Fullback||n/a||n/a||10|
We hope you enjoy this look back as we look forward to many more years of recording the history of Poverty Bay Rugby Football Union.
We acknowledge all the information from the NZ “Rugby Almanack” Series from 1934 and appreciate their hard and dedicated work in providing this detailed history. – Web Admin—